January 14, 2016 was a dark day in the Muggle and wizarding world. The beloved Alan Rickman passed away from cancer at the age of 69. The London-born actor began his career in theatre, including roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company, before winning roles in television dramas in the 1980s. In 1986, he had two Tony Award nominations for his role as Vicomte de Valmont in "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" on Broadway. He played a manipulative seducer and his acting was described as breathtaking. Once noticed by "Die Hard" producer, Joel Silver, Rickman went on to play villains on the big screen. These villains included: the Sheriff of Nottingham in 1991's "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" and Judge Turpin, opposite Johnny Depp, in 2007's "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." But he showed his gentler side in films like 1990's "Truly Madly Deeply," in which he played Juliet Stevenson's ghost lover.
He continued to play notable roles in a substantial amount of films, but there was one particular role that he possibly known the most for, Severus Snape in the movie installments of "Harry Potter." In 2001, Rickman took on the role of Professor Snape and while people thought he knew much about the character, Rickman stated in many interviews that he really did not know much. Whether he knew much about the character or not, he gave us all a character that we hated to love. All fans of "Harry Potter" can note that at the beginning, Snape was the dull, mean professor that really liked harping on Potter. Throughout the films, his character grew. Audiences around the world found out that Snape wasn't as cruel as we all thought. He was hurt. He grew into a character that at the end of it all, just wanted to have the woman he loved (Potter's mother) back. Even though Severus Snape was simply a character, this character taught us that heroes can hide in the most unlikely places. Stating that, even though Snape was a villain and showed most hatred towards the Gryffindor posse, there was still an ounce of good in him.
It's incredible to think about the fact that one man, a man that simply loved to act, gave millions of people inspiration. People looked up to Rickman and all of his work. People found a piece of themselves in his work. People who loved him from the "Harry Potter" series found a friend. I think Rickman even found a friend in his own character. Rickman stated to press, "When I am 80 years old and sitting in my rocking chair, I'll be reading 'Harry Potter.' And my family will say to me, 'After all this time?' and I will say, 'Always.'"